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KJV Isaiah 13 : 9

9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

9 הנה יום יהוה בא אכזרי ועברה וחרון אף לשום הארץ לשמה וחטאיה ישמיד ממנה׃

I find it a little bit baffling that God's day is said to be cruel in the above text.God who is descibed as love,joy,peace in several texts throughout the Bible but here it's said his day is cruel.

How can cruelty be associated with the God of love

How can we understand the above text?

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Either God is a God of love and justice or He is not. Note the following:

  • Num 14:18 - ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.’
  • Ex 34:6, 7 - Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: “The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness, maintaining loving devotion to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He will visit the iniquity of the fathers on their children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
  • Isa 24:6 - Therefore a curse has consumed the earth, and its inhabitants must bear the guilt; the earth’s dwellers have been burned, and only a few survive.
  • Jude 7 - In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.
  • 2 Thess 1: 6 After all, it is only right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are oppressed and to us as well. This will take place when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels 8 in blazing fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might, 10 on the day He comes to be glorified in His saints and regarded with wonder by all who have believed, including you who have believed our testimony.

Let there be no doubt that those who reject God's grace and mercy will be punished. Thus, when God punishes the wicked, those who refuse His mercy and grace, His actions are described as in Isa 13:9 and in Isa 28L21 -

For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim. He will rouse Himself as in the Valley of Gibeon, to do His work, His strange work, and to perform His task, His disturbing task.

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KJV Isaiah 13:

9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

"cruel" describes the day of the LORD. It does not apply to God himself.

How can cruelty be associated with the God of love?

Skip the day of the LORD and let the sinners live forever. This scenario would be crueler.

How can we understand Isaiah 13:9?

John 15:

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

God sent his Son to die for the sinners. We can be saved from the cruel consequence of the day of the LORD. We are given a choice. Isaiah gave us a warning in 13:9. It's a serious warning.

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